If you can remain calm in a pressure-filled situation, that calm can be contagious and help everyone stay more level-headed. While some examples in there are about slowing down (walk briskly through your house to a crying child rather than run), sometimes staying calm can actually make you faster.
When James Holzhauer went on his amazing Jeopardy winning streak, I saw a ton of articles written about him. Some of the more fascinating were about how he held the buzzer. From CNBC:
…he always made sure to hold the buzzer in one hand while using his free hand to hold the buzzing hand’s wrist in an effort “to try to keep everything steady.”
I’ve seen that same technique mentioned elsewhere, but it’s not often followed. Using James’ technique looks very calm, almost lazy, but gives you precision timing to click the buzzer. If you hold it up and click rapidly, like many players do, you’ll lose almost every time (as shown here):
James’ approach seemed almost too relaxed, with his hands calmly clasped out of view and clicking when he knew the answer. As a result of that, though, he was able to click first a huge majority of the time and amass the most winnings in Jeopardy history.
Staying calm is a great way to handle almost any situation, and can give you a competitive advantage in places where you wouldn’t even expect.
This is similar to the saying, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” This gets used frequently in athletic settings.
Mickey Mellen says
I hadn’t thought of that one. Good call!